According to Trend, citing Reuters, Cuban rescue personnel combed through wreckage on Saturday for remains and possible survivors after a gas explosion destroyed a Havana boutique hotel, killing at least 26 people.
The explosion at the Hotel Saratoga, a rebuilt section of downtown Havana just a block from the renowned legislative building, significantly damaged two adjoining upscale apartment buildings and caused minor damage to 17 other properties within a two-block radius.
Pedestrians were hit by debris in the densely frequented area, while glass and debris rained down on a nearby elementary school.
According to local officials, 50 people and 14 children were hurt. They said that four of the dead were youngsters. One of the dead was a Spanish tourist.
Authorities and local media reported that rescuers were striving to get to a basement passageway in the hopes of finding survivors. Engineers had to evaluate the stability of what was left of the building, they added, so it was slow going.
According to state-run television, the hotel, which is housed in a more than century-old building, was closed and only workmen were inside at the time of the explosion.
Tourists were frequently hired out by residents of the adjacent residential complex.